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Heading: 1.1Rock Excavation Costs
Can anyone provide a reference for comparision of cost for excavating Hard Rock with Blasting and with Equipment (without Blasting).


Hasan Shirazi

It is not common to find these comparisons because D&B or one of the waterjet techniques must be used unless the material is weak enough to be 'free digging.' When it is weak enough to rip, then rip it. Cost generally is not in the decision.

When the rock is borderline, consider that ripping will tear up rippers and other ground engaging tools. Drill bits are designed for that without tearing up the drill rigs. If dozers and excavators are tearing up ground engaging tools, they also are tearing up their hydraulics, frames, etc.

Some discussions can be found in SURFACE MINING by B.Kennedy, (SME, 2nd ed., 1990), but the decision typically is exclusive due to material properties. The only real time you can do both is when you are drilling dirt or weak rock, which is usually inefficient and a pain keeping the holes open.

Hope this is useful. Work safely.
-Ralph Sacrison
Ralph R. Sacrison
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